The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
On that worst of days for sports fans, it's time to post a few rants at some of the inane stuff heard on sports radio (Yes, Mr. Russo, I'm looking at your SXM channel):
- So many people want to change the MLB All-Star Game. Do this, do that. Make it "mean something." DON'T make it mean something. Have the players vote. Have the fans vote. Let the managers pick. Keep the Home Run Derby. Change it. "Fix" it. The one thing that I've heard as of late, though, is to change the dates: change it from a weeknight game to a weekend game. "Festivities" on Friday, Home Run Derby on Saturday, and the Game on Sunday - preferably in the afternoon. Well, that's all nice and good, but it ain't gonna happen. Because of the sheer size of the baseball season schedule, weekend home gates are the most important for MLB teams. Franchises do NOT want to have one of those weekends taken away from them - even if they're not playing that weekend, they don't want it taken the next year. Yes, it's silly and it's seemingly a last-century notion, but there are too many teams that rely on midsummer weekend games to bring in the fans and the money. Until you can convince teams to give it up for some other reason, it ain't happening.
- The Dwight Howard fiasco in the NBA is one reason why I dislike pro hoops. Every year essentially half the league has little to no shot at making the playoffs, and all but five or six teams have a shot at making the finals. So players have no incentive to play for a team that isn't one of the "big six" (Miami, Boston, Chicago, Lakers, and a rotation of about three teams between OKC, Dallas and San Antonio), and they thereby hold out to get sent to the team THEY want to play on. Well, that's fine and good, but that hamstrings GMs - as the Orlando Magic's new GM, Rob Hennigan, has found out. So he's suspended trade talks, and now he's getting raked over the coals because everyone knows that the Magic aren't going to be able to keep him on their roster when the season starts, because he's going to refuse to play. Well, there is one little ploy that he does have up his sleeve, and I'm just surprised no one's thought of this - the Olympics are starting up here shortly. I'm not saying it will happen or anything, but if one of the players on team USA (or any other country that has an NBA star player on their squad) is hurt during the tourney, suddenly there could be an opening for a trade. Hennigan could adjust the deal so that the team with the injured player could be the "third party", and suddenly the Nets get their Superman. Will it happen? Hennigan's hoping it will, but it's a gamble. The worst case scenario is Howard sits the entire year for the Magic - think the DeVos family might try to challenge that with Stern if he pulls a Yashin and refuses to play? Either way, Hennigan has to play the odds.
- You start to wonder who's being the bigger idiot here - the New Orleans Saints for not giving their franchise player what they want, or Drew Brees for being a demanding prima donna over his franchise tag contract status. Yes, the Saints need Brees much more than Brees needs the Saints - but not that much more. Brees has apparently studied at the Brett Favre Institute of Holdouts - though he hasn't brought up the "R" word like Favre always did.
- And finally, my favorite subject: Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, you're dead to me. You can say all you want, but the way it happened it looks essentially like you decided last year you weren't going to re-sign with the Preds, even if we gave you all of Opryland. I'm betting that what happened with Shea probably clouded your opinion. And how many of those "friendly" phone calls from Craig that your dad or uncle got were part of it? It stinks, kid. And what's worse, you didn't finish out your four years at UW, so I don't even have that as something to look back at. You obviously didn't pay attention back in 2007 with the whole reaction to Leipold's sale of the Preds. This man is a serial risk-taker. You're not an asset that he's adding to the club - you're something he's going to use to possibly get out of owning the team in a few years. Dude, if he's still signing your paychecks at the end of your contract, it'll be a miracle - or it'll be because he'll have moved on to owning a different team and he'll have convinced that team's GM to trade for you. And here I thought we'd be retiring the number 20 in the rafters of the Bridge.
- Dear GMDP - $110 millon for 11 years for number 6. Do it.